Fundraising ideas to support your cause

Updated Jul 21, 2021
If you’re looking for meaningful ways to make a difference, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of fun fundraising ideas that will help you make the world a better place – and have a good time doing it.
We’ve grouped our list of ideas into four categories. Use the links below to jump directly to the section you want to explore:  
  1. Online fundraising ideas
  2. Simple fundraising ideas
  3. Cool fundraising ideas
  4. Charity fundraising ideas

Online Fundraising Ideas 

During a pandemic, when we’re forced into lockdown, we can feel powerless to do anything to help those who are suffering or in need. But there are plenty of ways to get involved with fundraising ideas during COVID-19. And some of the best fundraising ideas are ones you can easily do online.

A woman is kneeling on a rug next to three piles of folded clothing.

1. Hold a virtual garage sale
Garage sales have always been a great way to generate funds, and the expanded reach of the internet makes this one of the best virtual fundraising ideas. When the weather warms and you start tackling your spring cleaning, you’ll likely uncover a trove of clothing or household items that you no longer use. Online garage sales are easy to set up using platforms like OfferUp, VarageSale or Facebook Marketplace. It’s a great way to give those items a second life, and the funds your raise can support a cause close to your heart too.
If you love organizing events and getting others involved, why not rally your network for a group fundraiser? Chances are that your friends and family also have second-hand treasures tucked away in their closets, garages or attics. They might be hanging on to sentimental items – too nice to throw away, difficult to part with and hard to put a price on. Contributing those items to a fundraiser could be a meaningful way to make a difference.
Be sure to share why you’re raising funds and what the money will go towards. Working together to achieve the goal of supporting a cause together can be really rewarding!
2. Trade your registry
Are you getting married or having a baby, and in a position where you don’t have need for all the gifts that friends or family may want to contribute? You might consider using your special occasion to launch a fundraiser for a cause close to your heart instead. Your loved ones will appreciate being able to support something you care deeply about. And rather than collecting more things in your storage spaces, you can make a tangible difference in someone’s life.
3. Start a Give It Up challenge
We may not want to admit it out loud, but we’ve all got a guilty pleasure or not-so-healthy habit we could kick. Whether it’s fast food, that splurgy afternoon coffee, or XYZ, invite your friends to join you in giving up the expense for a few weeks or months. Pledge your collective savings to a meaningful cause – you can raise funds without having to spend more than you regular would. And hey, maybe you kickstart a healthier habit at the same time!

Simple Fundraising Ideas

 Here are some free fundraising ideas that are tried-and-true. With just a little bit of time and effort, you can set up these easy fundraisers that benefit a good cause, bring people together and put a smile on their faces!

A person holds a bunch of wrapped chocolates in their cupped hands.

4. Candy for a cause

Looking for some winning workplace fundraising ideas or Christmas fundraising ideas? Look no further: candygrams and bake sales make the perfect fundraising ideas for work, because everyone can use a little pick-me-up when they hit that mid-day slump! Put together a package of sweets and attach a little card for people to write a message. Invite friends and colleagues to treat each other and let them know they’re also supporting an important cause. These are a particular great option around Valentine’s Day, Halloween or the holidays.
5. Host a service auction
This one takes a bit of organizing and prep, but it’s a great way to bring people together and help each other out. And couldn’t we all use a little extra support now and then? Reach out to your community and have people sign up for services they’re willing to provide. Maybe you have a photographer friend who’s willing to offer a session. Maybe a stylist friend is willing to offer a haircut. It really could be anything – guitar lessons, walking the dog, baking someone a loaf of sourdough, mowing the lawn. Your friends and family can bid against each other and everyone benefits, all while raising funds for a cause you care about.
6. Team up to make a difference

Looking for easy fundraising ideas for small groups or teams? Flipgive is a nifty app that earns your funds for your cause through things you’re already buying. Create a group using the FlipGive app or from your desktop, then share the unique invite code with your friends and family to get them on board. You’ll then earn cashback as your group shops at various retailers and eats at participating restaurants. Once you’ve earned at least $100 in funds, you can receive your payment by cheque or bank transfer. Easy breezy!

Cool Fundraising Ideas

 If you’re looking for good fundraising ideas that are a little more outside-the-box, here are a few that are pretty innovative. They’re also a great way to support the people and businesses in your local community!

A group of people are seated, eating and chatting around a table filled with food and drink on an outdoor patio.

7. Dine Out, Do Good
This one is a win-win-win. You get to enjoy a delicious meal, you support the restaurant industry and you raise money to support your charitable organization of choice. Invite your friends to eat at Blaze Pizza, Panda Express, or check in with your favourite local restaurant to see if they’re open to the idea of partnering with you!
Outdoor, social distanced gatherings are more likely to be feasible first, so you might try partnering with a local food truck to see if they would consider a percentage fundraising event. If there’s a cause you’re both passionate about, the collaboration could be a great opportunity for food truck operators to reach a new group of customers. 
8. Give back while you shop
That’s right. You can support your favourite charitable organization just by shopping! Invite your friends, family and supporters to pay for their groceries, meals, household supplies, gas (and just about anything else) with gift cards bought from FundScrip. Each purchase they make automatically includes a donation to your cause. You’re able to make a difference just by changing the method of payment on things you already need to pay for. Whether it’s office fundraising ideas or church fundraising ideas you’re looking for, FundScrip is a great option to consider.
Trureal is another fundraising platform that allows you to earn cashback on your purchases, a portion of which can then be directed to a charity. Once you’ve enrolled on the platform, simply initiate your online purchase through the Trureal portal. Think Rakuten, with some of your Big Fact Check going to support the organization of your choice. It doesn’t get simpler than that!
9. Contribute through creativity
Do you have an awesome idea for a cool t-shirt? Bonfire is a platform that makes it easy for you to raise money with custom designed apparel. They do charge a small fee to cover payment processing and use of the platform, but it’s a seamless experience from designing your clothes, promoting your campaign, all the way through receiving your funds. It’s a fun and inspiring way to unite people around a shared cause. It’s one of the more creative and cheap fundraising ideas (with no upfront costs) we’ve come across!

Charity Fundraising Ideas

 If you’re on the lookout for a new cause or organization to support, here are a few non-profit fundraising ideas from World Vision to consider.

Two smiling young women with medals pose for a photo at the finish line. A crowd stands behind them.

10. Run for clean water
With World Vision's Global 6K, you can join thousands of other Canadians walking or running in their own neighbourhood to bring clean water to those without access. Six kilometers is the average distance people in the developing world walk for water – water that is often contaminated with life-threatening diseases. Whether you participate from your treadmill or your favourite trail, this is a great way to get active while bringing a lifesaving resource to those who desperately need it. If you’re part of a local running group, it’s one of many team fundraising ideas you might consider.
11. Raise awareness for global hunger
Perhaps best known as one of the more popular school fundraising ideas, young people across the globe have been participating in the 30 Hour Famine for nearly five decades. This is a fundraiser that’s easier and more fun when done in a group. You might spend part of the 30 hours volunteering together to help others locally (as public health recommendations allow, of course.) Whatever you choose to do to pass the time, you’ll be able to celebrate the collective good you’ve accomplished to help support sustainable food solutions for families in need. Bonus points if you can come up with a creative, lockdown-friendly communal meal to break your fast together!
12. Make an impact with your community
Whether you’re passionate about education, healthcare or economic empowerment, World Vision is partnering with Canadians to bring lasting change through sustainable development programs around the globe. If you’re looking for a thoughtful and effective way to make the world a better place, consider these community fundraising ideas in the World Vision Gift Catalogue. Rally the support of like-minded people to help drill a well, supply a classroom or stock a medical clinic. It’s a powerful way to invest in the kind of change that makes life easier for a community today. And lasts for generations to come.

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